BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Michael Andrews, chief executive officer of Andrews Distribution Co., has formed a new company — AndrewsAg Inc. — for growing, packing and shipping fruits and vegetables out of Bakersfield.

The business opened June 3.

Besides leading Andrews Distribution Co., Andrews served as chief executive officer of Rainbow Ranches Inc., Bakersfield, and is current vice president and director of the Kern Lake Cotton Cooperative. Andrews, owner and chief executive officer of the new company, reports that Andrews Distribution Co. and Rainbow Ranches have ceased operations, but AndrewsAg Inc. has taken on the property, plant, equipment and crops in progress on 2,000 acres that were formerly owned by Andrews Distribution Co. and Rainbow Ranches Inc.

Andrews said he ran Andrews Distribution Co. with his father, Fred, from 1987 to 1998 when Fred Andrews died. At that time, Michael Andrews and several of his family members took over ownership of the company. Andrews decided he wanted to do his own thing and purchased the Andrews Distribution Co. and Rainbow Ranches facilities.

“We will satisfy all accounts,” Andrews said, regarding the former businesses. AndrewsAg Inc. is basically a consolidation of Andrews Distribution Co. and Rainbow Ranches into one enterprise, Andrews said.

AndrewsAg Inc. will handle asparagus, romaine and iceberg lettuce, green and red peppers, cantaloupes, onions, carrots and garlic. The produce will be shipped under the Lyla and Andrews brand names.

About half of production is grown under contract, Andrews said. Contract items include carrots, garlic and onions.

The crops are grown in the Bakersfield area. Andrews will not be growing crops in California’s Imperial Valley as Rainbow Ranches did.

Besides growing and shipping, the company will provide commercial and custom services to area growers. Services include packing, storage, marketing and distribution.

Andrews said he expects to ship about 1 million cartons of produce in 2002.

“We ship nine months out of the year,” he said.

Andrews said Andrews Distribution Co. was a $40 million operation. AndrewsAg Inc. should gross about $5 million in 2002, and the figure should climb to $25 million in three years, Andrews said.